Being new to the college experience can feel intimidating and overwhelming. If you are a new student wishing to start your freshman year in a positive way, consider working on your habits early on to make the most of your experience. Schoolwork, managing new friendships, and staying healthy will all feel much easier if you build a few habits you can rely on. Being away from home can disrupt the comfort of your old lifestyle, but you are perfectly capable of creating a new one you’ll love. Check out EDUopinions’ powerful new habits for students to create if you need help creating a healthy lifestyle as a new college student. EDUopinions can also help you in finding the right university for you.
Building a regular sleep schedule sets the foundation for your highest energy levels and motivation during school. You are more likely to make strong decisions and healthy choices if your brain is well rested. Anxiety and depression in new college students are not uncommon, but you can reduce your chances of experiencing these symptoms by being proactive about your sleep schedule. Other benefits of getting sleep include retaining more information (which helps with your schoolwork) and keeping high energy levels. Do your best to get at least 7 hours a night and establish a consistent sleep schedule right when you arrive at school.
Eating a well-balanced diet and incorporating brain food into your routine will put you at an advantage among your peers and sets you up for success. Your cognitive functions such as decision-making, memory, and motivation will improve if you eat a nutritious diet on a regular basis. College food can be unpredictable if you eat at dining halls, but you should generally have options for salads, whole grains, and fruits always. Do your best to eat these consistently and to keep some in your dorm for late studying nights or trips to the library. Keeping your brain nourished will also protect your mental health and keep your mood in a great place so you can thrive.
Getting ahead with your studying habits might be the single most important habit for your academic success. The excitement of starting a new school is incredible and you are sure to be busy with new friends, but remember that education is the priority. Your classes will begin sharing critical information early on (that will likely show up later in finals), so do your best to hit the ground running and get a head start on studying. Set SMART goals to stay accountable and make library visits a regular part of your routine. By consistently studying when you can, you’ll save yourself headaches and stress in the future when finals come around the corner.
Your fitness routine may be unique to you depending on the resources available to you in college. Building an exercise routine that works for you as a college student requires adaptation and creativity with your schedule. Before you begin, think about the exercises you truly get excited about and then brainstorm ways to fit them into your schedule outside of classes and your social life. Perhaps you can get creative, like listening to an audio lesson on the treadmill or taking a yoga break in between study sessions. Your college may have a great fitness centre or group fitness classes you can take advantage of as well. Incorporating fitness into your college lifestyle will give you energy and confidence all year.
Asking for help will be a crucial skill to build during your college years. You might experience situations throughout your time where you’ll need to ask for academic, medical, or emotional help. Get comfortable with the idea of reaching out when you need support in order to be proactive and protect your own wellbeing. Collect resources for professors and tutors who are there to support you academically. Get familiar with warning signs and resources for common challenges with alcohol or drugs, and connect with your college health center to learn about your options for medical and psychological care. Asking for help can be a strength if you know you’ll need extra support throughout your college experience.
Getting involved is a habit that may require some courage if you are intimidated by meeting new people, but can reward you with lifelong friends and accomplishments along the way. Many organizations provide resources and support if you are passionate about a subject and want to start a club. Perhaps you get involved with sports or academic clubs that can build your skill set as well. Most colleges have extensive volunteer clubs and organizations designed to connect you with communities in need so you can make a difference. If you are strong in an academic subject, consider becoming a tutor and supporting other students who need the extra support. Getting involved early on is a great way to feel fulfilled and connected during college.
Starting college does not need to be stressful if you are supported by strong healthy habits early on. Do your best to explore new experiences and ways of getting involved so you can have a wholesome time in school. Build the foundational habits to take the best care of your mental and physical health, and be proactive when you need to ask for help. Using these ideas to build your unique healthy habits in school will give you the most powerful start to your college experience possible.